Tag Archive: city


Last night, a few members of the TCRPMG went to Washington Park to apply what they had learned in the Camera Basics 101 course led by John Iannelli.  I think it was a huge success.  While we were there, I couldn’t help but grab this shot of the statue in the fountain and the amazing sky he was facing.

From where I was standing, it looked like he was yelling to the heavens, perhaps asking for rain.  The texture of the sky made it even more appealing.  I was really happy that I had been there at that exact time.

At the meetup, we discussed how light affects how your image comes out.  We also discussed shutter speed and aperture.  The main components when used together can make some really amazing shots.

We found a nice flower and took pictures of it, with the goal of having a sharply focused main subject with a blurred background (bokeh effect).  It was a great exercise and I think the members really enjoyed learning how this effect was accomplished.

McLarenF1

Back in 1992, Gordon Murray and McLaren Automotive made the fast production car in the world.  The McLaren F1 was, and still is the fastest normally aspirated production car in the world.

I remember it like it was just yesterday.  I was in London in March of 1998 and the news channels were buzzing with the story –  The McLaren F1 became the fastest production car with a top speed of 240 miles per hour.  That was straight from the factory with no mods.

Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to see a few of these cars in person.  The picture here is one that Turner Motorsports brought every year.  There was also another one that came to Lime Rock that had raced in the 24 Hours at Le Mans.  That was a serious privilege.  Not many people get to see a car with that kind of history.

One day at the track, I saw a lucky reporter get a ride in the McLaren.  It was every car lover’s dream.  If you’re not familiar with the McLaren, the driver seat is actually in the middle.  There are two seats that are set back on either side of the driver’s seat.  The three seats sort of look like a triangle.  That reported climbed in, got buckled, and probably got the ride of his life.  I was very envious that day.

I wanted to write this story because Gordon Murray has just released his T25 concept “city car“.  It is smaller than a Smart ForTwo and has the same seating setup as the McLaren F1.  It is a 51hp car that is said to get 61.9 miles per gallon.  That is impressive!  One of his main purposes for designing this car was to cut down on congestion and being able to park 2 T25s in a single parking space.

Their new MP4-12C looks like it has a Ferrari front end and roofline, paired with a Lamborghini lower half and vents on the side.  Not an original design if you ask me.  But with 600hp, I bet it’s a blast to drive.

Last night, Rose and I attended the Times Union Baseball and Bloggers event at the  Dale Miller Restaurant in downtown Albany. The event was put on by Mike Huber, the Interactive Audience Manager for the Blogs portion of the site.  Mark McGuire was the MC for the night. Mark is a sports columnist and also blogs for the Times Union.  In the first two hot seats were Jordan Carleo-Evangelist and Chris Churchill.  They both root for different teams, but it seems they put aside their differences when they write.  Jennifer Gish was the third member in the hot seat.  She is a newcomer to baseball, and admitted that she grew up watching football.  I got a laugh when she said they should just get rid of the (Pittsburgh) Pirates.

Personally, I am not a sports fan in the least.  I don’t know much about baseball or any other sport, but I did want to attend to see what it was all about.  Just like the Media 2010: How blogs shape the new conversation blogging event a few months ago, I really enjoyed being a part of this event.  It was fun, informative and great for networking with other bloggers.

Jordan and Chris exchanged a witty banter and had me laughing quite a bit.  Even though I don’t know much about sports, I did enjoy listening to them interact with the audience.  The audience did a great job of participating as well.  Unfortunately, the game was delayed due to rain and the guys stretched it out as long as they could, but had to release us to mingle as the delay was going to be another 40 minutes or so.

Mike did an awesome job of organizing this event.  Dale Miller Restaurant is a beautiful place.  We were on the 13th floor (or P1 as the elevator displayed).  The view of the city was quite incredible from there.  I am glad it rained, because I would have been upset to have that gorgeous outdoor patio with 360 degree views of downtown and not have my camera with me.  If anyone from Dale Miller reads this, I would love to have the opportunity to do some photography from that patio.  The shots I could get from there would be amazing!  End of shameless begging…

I had the opportunity to meet some Twitter friends and writers of blogs I read frequently while I was there.  I finally got to meet Amanda Talar, who may or may not know how to flirt, but she likes motorcycles.  That is OK in my book!  Kari VanAlstyne was there, and so was local self-proclaimed sex symbol Kevin Marshall.  I also met Mike Keane and got to chat him up about jobs and blogs.  At some point he realized that I lost my mouth filter a while ago and I just let things fly.  It catches people off guard sometimes.  They see me dressed in Brooks Brothers slacks and a nice button down shirt,  so they don’t necessarily know that I am a heavily tattooed biker.  I love it.

Oh, and if anyone sees the nice lady that was taking pictures of the guests at the party, please send her my apologies.  I can be a bit of a wiseass.  She came up to us at the beginning of the event and asked if she could take our picture.  I said, “No, you can’t take my picture.  I am anonymous.”  I was totally kidding, and she never took my picture.  Oops.  It is a bit of an inside joke.  As a photographer I hate having my picture taken.  Ironic, isn’t it?  So, in most online sources, you wont see a picture of me.  I will post a picture of my reflection in the chrome of my Harley, or wearing a helmet, but you’ll rarely see my face.  Trust me, I’m doing you a favor.

I really think that a motorcycle blog should be a part of the Times Union Blog section.  I would be happy to contribute with perhaps a few other bloggers sharing the blog.  Have your people call my people and they can do lunch together!

See ya soon!

For a few weeks now, I have been promising tulip pics from Washington Park.  I’ve put up some pics I have taken in years past, all in an attempt to make you want to see fresh ones from this year.  Well, today is that day.  This morning, I got up extra early (for me anyway) and went down to Washington Park with a few members from my photo group and I got some fresh pictures to share with you.

When I got to the park around 7am, there were a few other photographers milling around and a bunch of State workers putting the final touches on the grounds for this weekend’s Tulip Fest.  They were taking down the temporary fence around the fountain and scrubbing the fountain down, preparing to fill it up.  A few other workers were mowing the lawn around the fountain.  After about 3 hours, the park became pretty crowded with people walking and taking pictures.  I left around 10am as the sun was getting pretty harsh and the dew drops were starting to dry up.

I took about 400 pictures in my time there this morning.  I’ll probably only post about 20 or so of them on the internet, as I am highly critical of my work.  Probably much more than anyone else.  I really hope you enjoy them.  I can only hope that some of the photos I take make someone smile.  That would make it all worth it.  Ok, enough babbling from me.  Here’s what you really came to see…

If you’d like to see more, please check out my Flickr.  See ya soon!

And by that time, I mean Spring time!  The sun is shining again and the trees are starting to sprout buds.  Rose and I rode the Harley down to her parents house in Rhinebeck for Easter dinner, and on the way down I saw a ton of brilliant yellow blooms.  There were also seedlings growing in her parent’s backyard.  The birds are chirping in the mornings and insects are starting to come back around.  Here is a dragonfly I found one Spring trying to blend in with a stick.

Spring coming around is a huge relief to me.  I am sure I have mentioned before that I go into a sort of (self-proclaimed) “photographic depression” after the leaves fall off the trees and Winter rolls around.  It’s not until those first blooms of Spring that I get the urge to shoot again.  Seeing those first flowers and buds just starts to inspire me.  Here’s a shot I took last year as the flowers were just starting to grow.

But, here’s the problem – now that the weather is getting better, I get torn on what I’d rather do, go riding or go shooting.  Tough decision to make for me.  Between Thursday and Sunday, I put about 150 miles a day on the bike.  It’s been five months, so it was way overdue.  Now, I am ready to do some shooting.  I want to gather locations in the area that I haven’t shot before.  I’ve done Washington Park and Tulip fest a million times.  Been to Plotter Kill falls and Ka’aterskill falls is a favorite of mine.

What I am looking for are places that I can take my photography group, The Capital Region Photography Meetup Group, and have interesting subjects for them to shoot.  I would love suggestions in the Albany, NY area.  I don’t mind traveling, but would like to keep it within an hour or so of Albany because members will need to travel and carpool.  I appreciate any suggestions you can give me.  Thanks in advance!

See ya soon…

Someone on Twitter mentioned Tulipfest today, and I got all excited!  I love shooting the tulips in Washington Park.  There are so many different flowers in all different colors.  It is a photographer’s dream!  Over the  next few weeks, I will sprinkle my blog with pics I have taken over the last few years in the park.

Tulipfest is going on May 8, 9 and 10.  There is usually a free concert and I heard this year that it is going to be OK Go.  Enjoy!

Just ducky!

Last Spring, I took a trip to Buckingham Lake on Berkshire Blvd in Albany.  It was a warm but breezy day, and I was anxious to see what wildlife I could find there.  It turned out to be a great day for shooting the wildlife, with the camera, of course.

There were tons of baby ducks swimming around the lake that day.  It was a perfect day to get some ‘family shots’.  The baby ducks would follow the mothers around and never really strayed.  Here are some of the shots I got that day.  Enjoy!

The babies…

The ever-watchful mother…

A calming reflection…

A Mallard lounges on the shore…

Looks like this egg was someone’s lunch…

A chick up close…

So, no matter what happens today, just let it roll off your back and have a great day!  See ya soon!

Rose and I have both lost our jobs due to this recession that may or may not be over.  She has been out of work for much longer than I have, but nonetheless, we are both itching to find good jobs and get back out there.  I know that this normally is a photography blog, but I feel that this needs to be put out there.

A few days ago, a friend emailed Rose about a job fair at Longfellows in Saratoga yesterday.  All he had was a scan of an advertisement for vendors, telling them that the job fair would be yesterday from 10am til 4pm.  I was excited for the chance to possibly get my resume out to a potential employer or two, hoping I could get back to work.

So, I Google “Job fair Longfellows”, “Longfellows job fair”, “Saratoga job fair Longfellows”, and a few other terms to find more info on this job fair, because I like to be prepared.  It’s also a good hike to Saratoga from Albany, and I didn’t want to drive all the way up there and waste their time and mine if the jobs were not suitable for me or vice versa.  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing came up on Google.  Wait.  One hit.  This crappy little blurb on a job fair at Longfellows and a chance to win $100.  No listings of participating employers.  Who is this job fair for?  Were they hiring staff for Longfellows, or were there actual companies in the area looking to hire qualified employees?  Who knows?

Either way, I really need a job.  So, Rose jumped in the shower, and I got busy ironing my shirt and getting a nice tie to wear with my suit.  I am an old school kind of guy.  If I were to go for an interview at McDonalds making minimum wage, I would wear a suit and tie.  It’s the way it should be.

When we get to Longfellows, there were no signs in the parking lot or on the entryways to the building.  We guessed that it would be in the restaurant area, so in we went.  We walked in and found our way to the area that held the job fair.  There we about 10 or 12 companies in attendance.  Well, at least we made an effort.  If you don’t go, you don’t know, right?

If I were one of the ten or twelve companies that were there, I would have been very upset that I spent between $400 and $900 for a print and booth package and no one showed up.  The advertising for this event was horrible.  Huge FAIL!

But, wait.  There’s more.

I have also been to quite a few of the job fairs at the Marriott on Wolf Road.  They are put together in a much better manner.  The Times Union does a great job advertising this event on their site and in print.  There are usually 50 plus companies that participate in this job fair.  A lot of times, they are the same ones that are there every single time, looking to fill the same exact position they were looking to fill last time.  A lot of them are life insurance sales that require you to get licenses and Series this and that.  No thanks. To quote Austin Powers “that ain’t my bag, baby!”

Others may be positions I am qualified for, so I drop off my resume and chat them up, hoping I make a good impression. Hopefully, they will like me and call me in for an interview.

As I move about through the job fair, though, I notice lots of things.  I am a people watcher.  I love watching people and trying to figure out what’s going on in their heads.  Let’s go back to my McDonalds comment.  I ALWAYS wear a suit to an interview.  As I walk through the crowds of people, I see sagging pants, baseball caps, jeans and a menagerie of other things that makes me wonder what the heck is wrong with people.  How do you expect to get a job dressed like that?  Or, did I miss the memo?

When did it become OK to present yourself as a slob at a job fair?  What happened to being respectful?

Another thing that really bothers me about the companies that attend these events is that you go there to meet the potential employers and give them your resume.  At a good number of the booths, the companies wont take your resume.  You must go to their website and fill out an application online.

Say what?  Why are you here?  Why did you spend the hundreds of dollars it must cost to be here if you can’t do anything more than chat with people all day?  What a waste of money.  Here’s an idea – take that money and donate it to a local charity, give a valuable employee a bonus, advertise online, something.  Maybe  I am missing something, but it just doesn’t make sense to me.

Am I really missing something?  Is it just a write-off?  Please comment and subscribe.  See ya soon…

Picture of the Day – 3/13

Tulipfest at Washington Park

Tulipfest at Washington Park

Cohoes Falls

Cohoes falls

A shot of Cohoes falls before the new overlook was built.